Friday Offcuts – 16 February 2024

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Welcome to this week's edition of Friday Offcuts, delivering the latest updates and insights from across the forestry and wood processing sectors.

This week we cover Pan Pac's recovery following last year's cyclone damage, welcome Diana Hallam as AFPA's new CEO, celebrate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science and highlight Ikea's investment in NZ. 

Forestry Corp NSW has released details on their successful salvage program in the Tumut and Tumbarumba regions following the Black Summer fires, which highlighted the effectiveness of collaboration across the industry and learning from past experiences. The use of remote sensing technology and estate modelling was particularly noted for its role in prioritising salvage operations and informing various stakeholders about medium and long-term impacts on resources.

The transport sector is also seeing significant changes with the introduction of battery electric trucks, touted as the best road transport option for reaching net-zero emissions. These trucks are expected to deliver the largest and most certain emission cuts of 75-85% over their entire lifecycle. If interested in wood transport, check out our upcoming programme, Wood Transport & Logistics 2024.

In biosecurity, Scion researchers are looking at the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for more targeted, safer, and less invasive pest control. This approach is seen as a promising tool in the biosecurity toolbox, especially in the wake of increasing risks posed by invasive pests due to climate change.

We cover these and more in another packed edition of Friday Offcuts. Enjoy the read.

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AFPA’s new CEO announced

The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) is pleased to announce that experienced government relations professional Ms Diana Hallam has accepted the Board’s offer to become the Association’s new permanent Chief Executive Officer.

Ms Hallam has a long and distinguished career working at senior levels of the Australian Public Service, as Chief of Staff to a former Deputy Prime Minister and in other senior political advisory and corporate roles with a focus on infrastructure, transport and agriculture.

AFPA Chair Stephen Dadd commended the Board’s recruitment decision, “After a lengthy and thorough recruitment process, we are very pleased to announce that Diana Hallam will become AFPA’s new CEO and take the reins of Australia’s peak national forest products industry body, with the support of the AFPA membership, our Board of Directors and team of expert staff.

Diana’s breadth of experience across senior levels of government, politics and the corporate sector will stand her in excellent stead to manage the challenges and opportunities facing our sector. On behalf of the Board, staff and membership, I congratulate Diana and welcome her to the team.”

Ms Hallam will leave her current role as a First Assistant Secretary in the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to commence as AFPA CEO on 12 March 2024. Diana served as Chief of Staff to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture, the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP from 2014 to 2017 and prior to that occupied senior roles at both Toll Group and Singapore Airlines.

Diana holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and a Master of Science and Technology (Aviation) from the University of NSW, a Master of International Law from the Australian National University, a Graduate Diploma of Professional Communications from the University of Southern Queensland and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Ms Hallam said she was thrilled to be offered the opportunity to become AFPA’s CEO, “I look forward to meeting AFPA’s membership and working with everyone across the forest products supply chain. The industry is at the forefront of key policy challenges from climate change to economic development and sovereign capability. I look forward to getting out on the ground and talking to stakeholders about the industry’s issues and opportunities.”

Source: AFPA

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Call for the next generation of women

Australia’s professional association for forest scientists, managers and growers is using this year’s International Day for Women and Girls in Science as a call for the next generation to join forestry science.

Forestry Australia President Dr Michelle Freeman said Sunday February 11 was the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

“Forestry across Australia has so many tremendous women who are at the forefront of the science that underpins the skilful management of our forests and broader environment,” Dr Freeman said.

“On February 11, we celebrated all of these women, and we want to encourage the next generation of women and girls to follow in their footsteps too.

“If you ask someone to imagine a typical person who works in forest and fire management, they tend to picture a very narrow stereotype, but the reality is very different. We have incredible scientists across our country doing the most innovative and creative work for the betterment of our environment, community and economy – and that’s the definition of career goals.

“There’s so many opportunities for the next generation of women and girls to lead the science in our sector, promoting evidence- based decision making from carbon capture, forest fire management, conservation and renewables and to them I say: do it, you’ll love it.”

Some of the women from across Forestry Australia have shared their thoughts and experiences on this International Day for Women and Girls in Science:

Dr Tegan Brown, Victoria
“In my current role as a Research Scientist for CFA, I use climate models and landscape data to predict future vegetation and fuel types. We will then use these data to predict future fire activity, and model the number and type of fire management resources that Victorian fire agencies will require. Data isn’t neutral, and is interpreted by scientists through a lens built from context and lived experiences.”

Molly Marshall, Tasmania
“I believe that now is the perfect opportunity for women to work within the forest, fire and land management sector. Every one of us has and will continue to have an integral role to play in the combat against climate change and our sector provides no better platform to be at the forefront of mitigation, adaptation and resilience.”

Emily Post, New South Wales
“Forestry science is a unique blend of natural, physical, and social sciences; it is a privilege to work in a science that can contribute so much to the wellbeing of people and the planet. Forests and their benefits are so diverse in nature, and I want to encourage the continued diversification of the community of stewards who are working to nurture our vital forest ecosystems.”

Dr Danielle Wiseman, Western Australia
“Working in forestry science is great as I get to collaborate with scientists across Australia and sometimes the world. An example of this is a recent success story for scientists and blue gum plantation growers. Sometime in the 1990s its thought that a damaging snout weevil (Gonipterus spp.) was introduced to Western Australia from eastern Australia. After many years of work by forest health scientists, last year we released a matched fairy fly into a plantation south of Rocky Gully to target the Snout weevils.”


Source & image credit: Forestry Australia

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February NZ log market update

Opinion Piece: Marcus Musson, Director, Forest360

February has kicked off with a hiss and a roar with log exporters pulling out the pencil sharpeners and publishing prices in the mid to high $130’s for A grade (except for Bluff and Lyttleton where you poor folks are between $10 and $20/m3 less). This price level has given forest owners a grin that rivals Chloe Swarbricks’ after James Shaws’ resignation and gives numbers that are at least $10/m3 over both the 3 and 5 year averages. This lift is courtesy of an increased CFR price, lower foreign exchange, and steady shipping rates. It’s not all beer and skittles though and anyone that reads the news will be well aware of the continued issues with the Chinese economy and the embattled construction sector.

The Chinese Evergrande debacle continues to unfold with an order from a Hong Kong court to liquidate the company which currently holds the crown of the worlds most indebted developer with over $300 billion yuan in total liabilities. An attempt by Fengtao Property Company, one of Evergrande’s offshoots, to auction off some of its assets was met with zero bids, which indicates the level of demand in the property sector.

There are some glimmers of light through the dark CCP clouds as Reuters reported that the average Chinese city house price rose 0.15% in January, not really a ‘wow moment’ but it is the fastest gain since mid-2021 with growth occurring in half of the surveyed cities. It was also noted that government land sale revenue also gained 1.8% from the previous year which is the first-time sales have risen in two years. How this is happening when there’s 10 years’ housing supply still in the system is anyone’s guess, but sentiment is a huge driver of the Chinese economy which doesn’t really conform to economics 101.

The China market is even more important to NZ now as a number of sawmills in South Korea have closed their doors. While South Korea isn’t a massive player in terms of volume, it is especially significant in that South Korea accepts non-fumigated cargo from NZ. Most of the NZ log cargo is shipped on vessels that have approximately a third of the cargo ‘on deck’ and therefore this cargo must be fumigated on port prior to loading if going to China. The ‘under deck’ cargo in the holds is fumigated enroute which is reasonably straight forward but following the NZ EPA’s effective banning of Methyl Bromide as a fumigant (by requiring large buffer zones), on deck cargos that cannot be fumigated are now mostly de-barked if destined for China. Delivering top deck cargos to South Korea is a good option for those exporters from ports that don’t have de-barkers or the ability to fumigate, and therefore any reduction in Korean demand also reduces the optionality for NZ exporters.

Chinese log inventories have crept up around 50Km3 in the past month and now sit at around 2.6Mm3 which is approximately 40 days’ supply. Chinese New Year celebrations kick off next week and many sawmills have shut early which explains the inventory build and it’s likely that we will see total inventory at the mid 3Mm3 level by the time everyone returns to work. Total log imports into China for 2024 will likely be similar to 2023 at a shade under 40Mm3 which is around 60% of the 2021 levels. NZ has increased its share and currently accounts for around 45% of this total, which is an increase in terms of market share but a decrease in total volume. Supply from Europe and the US has reduced significantly with the Red Sea scuffle potentially keeping the lid on this for the mean time. Australia has recommenced log exports to China, however only in smaller volumes (once bitten twice shy) with the majority of their export volume destined for India.

Log Market Update Graphic

Carbon prices have rallied somewhat with current spot prices at $73.35/NZU. This equates to around $2,200/ha/yr and will likely have many sheep farmers looking at trees as a form of succession planning, despite the negative press from the noisy few. The next Govt NZU auction is scheduled for March, and it will be interesting to see if any bids clear the floor price following the failures of 2023. Nicola Willis will be watching very carefully as the auction revenue will probably be factored into the 2024 books to help fill the Roberston fiscal hole.

So, all in all 2024 is shaping up pretty well with solid export prices, strong domestic demand, (especially pruned logs) and a reasonable general outlook. All eyes will be on China demand once everyone returns from new year celebrations and hopefully a few weeks R&R will have them return to work with renewed fizziness about building things with wood. NZ supply will be interesting over the next few months as weather and prices increase woodlot activity, and the Taupo windthrow salvage starts to wind down. Whether we can hold the price gains through into Q2 is yet to be seen but like any good commodity trader, we’ll take what we can get.

More >>

Source: Forest360

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New tool to manage forestry slash

Better management of forest felling waste has gained new impetus in Cyclone Gabrielle’s wake, with the sector firmly in the spotlight for the impact such waste has had on communities, ecosystems, and farmland downstream from harvest areas.

Rotorua-based forest management company Interpine Innovation has taken a long-used means of measuring forest residue waste and turned it into a highly accurate, digitised means to help companies lower post- harvest waste levels. 

The tool promises to ensure forest felling does not turn sites into time bombs ready to detonate in the wake of future Gabrielle-like events.

The “Wagner Waste method” has been used for almost half a century to estimate volumes of remaining forest waste by sampling along transect lines. It is accurate, simple and quick to use, but its role has been largely to assess felling completeness and reconcile yield estimates. “But Gabrielle came along, and the focus has now become more on compliance and what we need to do better as an industry,” says Interpine CEO Te Kapunga Dewes.


Source: Farmers Weekly

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Pan Pac’s step-by-step cyclone recovery

After Cyclone Gabrielle ripped through Hawke’s Bay in February 2023, Pan Pac Forest Products’ Whirinaki site was left submerged in up to 2-metre-high floodwaters and completely unrecognisable. Pan Pac managing director Tony Clifford said he realised they had a “marathon in front of us, not even a 10k run”.

“The water came over our stopbank system by about 750mm. The stopbanks didn’t fail, the water just came right over the top,” Clifford said. The cyclone washed 1.8 to 2m of silt and water through the entire site, flooding the electrical systems, power distribution systems and control systems.

For Pan Pac, the electrical work has been the biggest repair job in both time and cost. Clifford said just for the engineering cost the company is facing a repair bill of NZ$150 million, and 12 months on it has spent close to NZ$100m of that. He added the NZ$100m has largely been on plant recovery “as at this stage we haven’t started recovering any of our main administration office building, which will be done in the next 18 months”. Pan Pan had its chip mill up and running in August and September last year, and in January this year it got the sawmill running at about 50 per cent capacity. The company hasn’t been able to reactivate all of the kilns that dry the wood after it’s been through the sawmill. More kilns are set to be up and running in a few weeks, with the hope Pan Pac will process a larger volume of wood through the sawmill.

To get to this point, Pan Pac “recognises the progress that has been done so far and the contribution by thousands right across Hawke’s Bay and New Zealand”, Clifford said. As one of Hawke’s Bay’s biggest employers, Pan Pac’s recovery was aided by the creation of a list of its employees’ skill matrix, and where the employees could help.

Along with finding jobs for everyone, Pan Pac was creating job certainty as “staff were uncertain in the early stages when they came into the site and saw all the damage. We did our best to create certainty when there was mostly uncertainty, which helped with morale,” Clifford said. “Once people knew they had a job and it wasn’t at risk, that created a much higher degree of comfort.” Many Pan Pac employees come from trade backgrounds or had skills that were helpful to the recovery on-site.

More >>

Source: NZ Herald, Photo credit: John Taylor

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Salvage success lessons shared with industry

Effective collaboration across the timber industry and learning the lessons from past fire salvage efforts have been highlighted as key factors underpinning the success of the record salvage program in the Tumut and Tumbarumba regions following the Black Summer fires in a report commissioned by Forestry Corporation of NSW.

Forestry Corporation’s Sales and Procurement Manager Peter Stiles said the report summarised the challenges, successes and lessons from the timber salvage program and was being shared with the industry to inform future fire recovery. “The Black Summer fires were devastating for the local community and the region’s softwood timber industry was severely impacted, with about 50 per cent of the pine plantations in the south west slopes burnt,” Mr Stiles said.

“Unlike many native species, pine trees die when they are burnt, but the industry was able to mobilise quickly and in numbers against the backdrop of the emerging COVID-19 pandemic to salvage a remarkable 2.7 million tonnes of timber in the two years following the fire.

“This was the biggest ever salvage effort in this country’s history and there is a lot to be proud of in what the industry achieved. The salvage program kept the lights on for our local processors immediately following the fires and created a boom in harvest and haulage work across the region, but importantly, it also maintained a quality supply of essential structural lumber and packaging products to the broader industry at a time of high demand.

“The lessons from past fires underpinned the success of this salvage program, so while we hope fires like this will never be experienced again, it is important for us to share the lessons from the Black Summer salvage with the industry for the future.” Report author Damien O’Reilly from Mayday Hill Consulting said the review made it clear that collaboration across the timber supply chain was a key to the salvage program’s success.

“Forestry Corporation of NSW is a plantation manager that engages contractors to harvest timber and supply it to third party processors and close collaboration across the supply chain and with local and interstate forest growers was an essential ingredient in the salvage program’s success,” Mr O’Reilly said.

“The timber industry as a whole, shares the objective of maintaining a sustainable supply of timber not just for today but also for the future, so the industry worked to balance immediate and long-term timber needs in the decisions that were made following the fires.

“The salvage program benefited from experiences in assessing damage and managing the processing of burnt timber that were learnt following past fires in NSW such as the Billo Road fire in 2006 and Jananee fire in 2014, as well as invaluable advice and support from the industry across Victoria and South Australia, and through Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA).

This salvage program demonstrated the effectiveness of remote sensing technology and estate modelling in prioritising salvage operations, and informing processors, contractors and the community about the medium and long-term impacts on the resource.” There was also significant investigation into log storage options under water or sprinklers, including a trial that provided useful lessons should long-term storage of burnt timber be required following fires in future.

Overwhelmingly, the report found collaboration with customers and contractors was a fundamental reason underpinning the success of the program. Flexibility from customers, coordination of contractor capacity and engaging with other growers enabled the industry to both maximise the salvage of burnt timber and minimise the harvesting of unburnt timber to allow it to grow on to deliver timber in future years.

The report is specifically focused on the salvage of softwood timber from the Tumut and Tumbarumba regions and has been published on the Forestry Corporation website to assist the timber industry. Several inquiries and inquests have looked into the 2019-20 fires and Forestry Corporation continues to work with the NSW Rural Fire Service and other government agencies to implement improvements recommended by those inquiries.

Source: FCNSW

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Electric trucks best bet to cut transport emissions

Transport is likely the hardest economic sector to decarbonise. And road vehicles produce the most greenhouse gas emissions of the Australian transport sector – 85% of its total. Freight trucks account for only 8% of travel on our roads but 27% of transport emissions.

We analysed the life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions of Australian passenger cars and SUVs in a 2022 study. We have now looked at Australian trucks.

The 2022 study showed Australian electric cars already provided large cuts in emissions in 2019. The reduction was 30-40% compared to the overall on-road passenger vehicle fleet’s (life-cycle) emissions per kilometre in 2018. When renewables take over the electricity grid from which battery electric vehicles are charged, the cuts will be even bigger – around 75-80%.

Is it the same for Australian trucks? Our new study shows battery electric trucks are the best road transport option for getting closer to net-zero emissions. As the shift to renewables continues and batteries become more durable, these trucks are expected to deliver the largest and most certain emission cuts of 75-85% over their entire life cycle. Hydrogen-powered (fuel cell) trucks also provide large emission cuts, but not as much as battery electric trucks. Their future performance is the most uncertain at this stage.

What did the study look at?

We looked at the fleet-averaged life-cycle emissions of three Australian truck sizes and three technologies – diesel, hydrogen and electric – for the pre-COVID year 2019 and a future decarbonised scenario. This scenario is based on 90% renewables in the electricity grid and 90% green hydrogen (produced using renewable energy).

To explore the large and significant shifts that have occurred and operational results from larger transport fleets, including log transport operations over the past 12 months, this region’s major Wood Transport & Logistics 2024 event has been set up for the forestry, log haulage and contracting companies in Rotorua, New Zealand on 22-23 May 2024. Last year was a sell-out. Programme details can be found on the event website.

More >>

Source: thedriven

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Ikea’s increasing presence in NZ

A sister company to Swedish furniture giant Ikea has quietly bought up more than 23,000 hectares of New Zealand forests and farmland since 2021. Ingka Investments Management NZ and Ingka Investments Forest Assets NZ were registered with the Companies Office in December 2020.

Both companies are described as related to forestry and owned by Ingka Investments, a Dutch-based investment arm of Ingka Group, Ikea’s largest owner-operator. Since August 2021, the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) has granted the companies 20 consents to buy more than 23,100ha of land in plots from Southland to Bay of Plenty.

Because some transaction details have been withheld by the OIO, the total value of Ingka’s investments is not known. However, the nine prices so far made public total NZ$154.2 million and relate to purchases covering an area of 10,488.6ha, an average price of $25,190 per hectare.

Individual purchase prices ranged from NZ$1.6 million for a 161.9ha block at Matau, South Taranaki, to NZ$88 million for Huiarua and Matanui stations near Gisborne. Most recently, Ingka invested NZ$11.3 million in 293ha of commercial forest at Taringatura, Southland, and paid NZ$16.6 million for 1646ha across two properties in Taranaki.

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Source: Stuff

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Record turnout of Kenworths at 100th global anniversary

Kenworth enthusiasts in New Zealand gathered at Waikato’s Mystery Creek to celebrate the brand’s 100th global anniversary with a record-breaking 756 mighty rigs on display. The event, organised by local distributor Southpac Trucks, took place over Waitangi weekend and saw hundreds of spectators arrive through the gates.

The Kenworth-only event eclipsed any single brand truck show ever staged in the Southern Hemisphere – including the 2014 event in Mt Maunganui which saw 300 Kenworths on show to mark 50 years of the truck brand being imported into New Zealand. With a huge nine-hectare footprint set aside for the show, there was plenty of room for the big rigs to shine.

Registrations opened in July last year and a large number of local Kenworth owners and operators took part to make it a special day to remember. The scale of the venue ensured a big turnout and saw half a kilometre of Kenworth grills in one row alone.

Planning for the centenary show began in early 2020 but was put on hold due to the disruption of Covid-19. It was originally meant to take place in 2023 to coincide with the official global anniversary. Southpac Trucks general sales manager Richard Smart says Kenworth owners are known to be passionate about the trucks they run. He says the event was about bringing them together in one place to celebrate the best of the brand.

“For me it’s all about the customers. This is an event we put on for the owners, the operators and the drivers and it was all about getting them together. You can see them standing around yacking to people they haven’t seen for ages,” he says.

Source: transporttalk

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UAVs for pest control take off

As climate change increases the risk of invasive pests reaching our shores and affecting New Zealand’s multibillion-dollar primary sector, Scion researchers are hopeful a burgeoning tool could provide a more efficient urban biosecurity solution.

Scion’s Plant Protection Physics and Chemistry team lead Dr Justin Nairn says using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) could be a new tool in the biosecurity toolbox making pest control more targeted, safer and less invasive. UAVs can fly closer to the target than a helicopter − about 2m versus 10m-plus − have a smaller footprint and fly slower meaning they can be more precise.

The research comes two years since the discovery of the fall armyworm in New Zealand in February 2022. The moth threatens crops in its larvae (caterpillar) stage.

Nairn’s initial studies in March 2021 into the general efficiency of spraying using UAVs used fluorescent dye to investigate how UAVs performed in aerial spray operations in urban environments.

Then in February last year, one year after fall armyworm’s arrival, scientists trialed using a key bio-insecticide for combating Lepidoptera moths. The findings of this trial are being finalised but Nairn says using UAVs for pest control is growing quickly as operational limitations like cost, weight and flight time are reducing as technology advances.

Scion has been involved with pest incursion responses and field research in aerial spray methodology for decades looking for new, more targeted ways to tackle pest and insect outbreaks.

The invasive pest problem has been highlighted many times over the years. From a seven-year, $65 million response to the painted apple moth in Auckland in 1999, through to the ongoing battle against fall armyworm and managing myrtle rust.

Fast and effective pest control is vital to prevent pest and pathogen establishment. However there needs to be a balance between engaging communities ahead of incursion responses, and the potential need for fast action, Scion social scientist Dr Andrea Grant says.

More >>

Source and image credit: Scion

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FWPA carbon guides & assets

In 2022, Australia's Government set emissions reduction targets aiming for a 43% emission cut by 2030 (from 2005 levels) and net-zero emissions by 2050. To reach these goals, each industry must play its part and the Forest & Wood Products Australia (FWPA) is leading this charge for the forestry industry.

As the building sector heads towards decarbonisation and the influence of emissions in forestry, plantation management, and material selection for construction grows, we also have an opportunity to promote our industry as a key player in addressing climate change.

The FWPA funded Carbon Guides serve as useful tools to better understand the role that forest and wood products play in the carbon economy and empower individuals to meaningfully contribute to the ongoing carbon and sustainability dialogue with all stakeholders.

Written in clear and simple terms, these guides are a vital source of knowledge and explain key carbon-related terms spanning the lifecycle of wood products and the buildings they go into.

Arm yourself with the knowledge necessary to position our industry as a pivotal player in shaping a future where timber from sustainably managed forests contributes to emissions reduction and driving sustainable growth.

Download the carbon guides now

Source: FWPA

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Problems for world’s largest wood pellet maker

Enviva faces insolvency after missing US$24.4M bond payment, reporting significant losses, poor bets on pellet prices; interim CEO explains market prices have not risen as expected after company's purchase of 1.8 million tonnes of pellets in 2022.

After reporting big losses in the fall, the Maryland-based company missed a US$24.4 million bond payment this month, helping drive its stock price to new lows. After peaking at nearly US$88 a share in April 2022 , the company’s stock closed at 36 cents recently.

The company reported a net loss of US$85.2 million in the third quarter of last year, despite selling 14% more pellets than during the same quarter a year earlier. Enviva transforms trees and scrap wood from the Southeastern United States into cylindrical pellets about as big around as a pencil that it ships to Europe and Asia to be burned for heat and electricity.

Company officials cite several factors for the losses, including higher interest costs and charges related to shutting down equipment at a plant in Southampton, Virginia . But what has pushed the company to the brink of insolvency, they say, is some poor bets on the price of wood pellets that it made in late 2022. The company agreed to purchase 1.8 million metric tons of pellets at prices above what it had been getting up to that point, on the assumption that prices would rise and it could sell the pellets at a profit on the spot market.

That didn’t happen, Glenn Nunziata , interim chief executive officer, said during third quarter earnings call in November. “Spot market prices for wood pellets this year have not evolved in the way we anticipated,” Nunziata said. “And that weakness in the spot market caused us to significantly miss our expectations for the third quarter as well as materially reduce our expectations for the fourth quarter of this year.”

The company’s third-quarter report said it was taking several steps to try to right itself and pay its creditors, including attempting to renegotiate contracts with customers and hiring outside lawyers, financial advisers and management consultants. But, the report said, the events of the previous year “raise substantial doubts regarding the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

Update: An update this week reports that Enviva is preparing to file for bankruptcy within days after a bad bet on future prices of the commodity triggered nine-figure losses. Read more. Further coverage this week here.

Source: Charlotte Observer, WSJ, starnewsonline

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World's forests - doing much better than we think

Think of a planet in the grip of a climate crisis, and many of the images in your mind will be carved from wood. Forests in Canada and Australia going up in flames; loggers in the jungles of Indonesia and Brazil chain- sawing ancient trees for lumber; monocultural fir plantations marching in geometric order up the hillsides of Scotland or Sweden.

You might be surprised to discover, then, that many of the world’s woodlands are in surprisingly good condition. The destruction of tropical forests gets so much attention that we’re at risk of missing how much progress we’re making in cooler climates.

That’s a mistake. The slow recovery of temperate and polar forests won’t be enough to offset global warming, without radical reductions in carbon emissions. Even so, it’s evidence that we’re capable of reversing the damage from the oldest form of human- induced climate change — and can do the same again.

More >>

Source: Business Standard / Bloomberg

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Buy and Sell

... and one to end the week on ... your biggest weakness

A guy is in for a job interview, and the interviewer asks him, 'What would you consider to be your biggest weakness?'"

"The guy replies, 'Honesty. I’m honest with everyone; I don’t know how to be anything other than completely honest with every single person I meet.'

The interviewer says, 'I don’t really see how honesty could be considered a weakness? In fact, I think honesty is a great strength!'

To which the guy replies, 'I don’t really give a s*** what you think.'”

One more. Doctor: I have good news and bad news."

"Patient: 'OK, first, what's the good news?'

Doctor: 'You have 24 hours to live.'

Patient: 'Oh god, just 24 hours to live, that is good news? I can't imagine what the bad news is going to be.'

Doctor: 'I forgot to phone you yesterday.'"

And on that note, enjoy your weekend. Cheers.

Ken Wilson
Editor, Friday Offcuts
Mob: +61 452 262 337 Web page:

This week's extended issue, along with back issues, can be viewed at

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